You already know that you need to get hearing aids, so what do you do next? Hearing aids are about to become an essential part of your life, so selecting the right kind matters. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones that are found only on the Internet. If you truly believe that you can get a quality device for less money from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your choice. When you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?
Those Internet Knockoffs
Internet hearing assistance devices are not actually the bargain they would appear to be. They are very low-quality and don’t perform very well. Batteries will be expensive if you need to replace them all the time.
Amplifying sound is the only thing these poor-quality devices do. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids combine various technologies to deliver a device which can be customized to your exact needs. You can go cheap and purchase one online but you will miss out on several essential features.
You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to stretch your budget, but it’s not a good idea when it involves something that affects every part of your life like your hearing. There may be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
A higher quality, more dependable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent also. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.
It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you find at quality retailers will be digital. You have to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog refers to the kind of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog units.
Looking For The Perfect Features
There are actually two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to think about include:
- Noise reduction
- Environmental noise control
- Directional microphones
- Remote controls
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wireless connectivity
- Direct audio input
- Variable programming
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
When you get started researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are a lot of styles on the market. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your situation is almost a guarantee. Some of the different styles are:
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
To get a fairly good idea of each style just have a look at the names. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. It connects to clear tubing and an ear-mold that sits at the opening of the ear canal.
As is obvious by the name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’t see them so much.
RIC devices and RIE hearing aids have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a unit behind the ear. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.
Instead of having ear-molds, open fit models, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feel of something stuck in their ear.
Your job is to go over each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. For instance, Bluetooth is a useful function to have, especially if you talk on your smartphone or computer a lot. You can save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, One that offers a free trial period and custom fits the device. It’s difficult to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have the opportunity to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.
You also want to look closely at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t call for purchasing hearing aids.